Sept 25, 2020 | By Ky-Leigh Boyland | Photo by Patil Khakhamian

Life is stressful. We all have had days when we mentally, or physically, want to curl up into a ball. Sometimes, we all need time to destress and relax our minds. That’s where dance adjuncts come into play.

I had no idea what my class was about going into contemporary dance with Patrizia C. Herminjard. I had never danced in my life, so I had no grounds on which to form my expectations. However, after my first week, my nonexistent standards were blown out of the water.

Contemporary dance revolves around letting yourself go and learning how to fall. From start to finish, every aspect of this class pushed me to relax and let go of the stresses in my life. At the beginning of every class, we dedicated 15 to 30 minutes to stretching by doing various exercises for the entire body.

In a sense, I can compare this to meditating. After meditating, you sometimes feel tired because you’re releasing a lot of tension that’s been built up. The same effect took place for me during these 15 to 30 minutes.

Both mentally and physically I felt tired, but refreshed at the same time. I found while focusing my thoughts on my breath instead of everything going on in my life that it felt peaceful to let go for a while. My head was clear and my body was relaxed (I normally have tense shoulders). 

Additionally, COVID-19 has locked us in our rooms, sitting at our desks completing homework or listening to lectures. These basic activities are draining. Our bodies are meant to move and taking a dance adjunct allows one to do so.

After stretching, Herminjard teaches us a small dance combo. This combo can be slow or fast, but the best part is she allows us to move at our own pace. While she will provide counts for each movement, you are free to absorb the music and interpret each part on your own.

Although some combos can be physically tiring, the mental break from life is blissful. Being able to close your eyes, feel the music, and let go as your body moves is a joy that not many of us are able to feel, especially when glued to our chairs.

Despite not having a dance record before this class, I have learned a lot about myself and established a growing relationship with my body. This class is engaging, fun, and full of positive distractions from everyday life that allow you to reset. Personally, I look forward to these sessions because I can finally let go, and I encourage anyone who needs a similar release to take this class. 

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